Falling for Grace: Chinese American Girl meets White-American Boy in New York City – Movie opens in Vancouver

Falling for Grace: Chinese-American Girl meets White-American Boy in New York City – Movie opens in Vancouver

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I met Fay Ann Lee, director of Falling for Grace, at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival.  It was Sunday, the final day of VAFF, and Fay had premiered Falling for Grace the night before.  Fay is a stunning woman, and very articulate, telling me about how she made the film. 

She tells me that across the USA, they have been slowly building the audience market by market.  We talked about how Falling for Grace is really a romantic comedgy, not limited only to an Asian audience, likening it to the success that Joy Luck Club had playing to White audiences across America.

Fay was excited by the Vancouver audience, and was looking forward to it's Vancouver general release.  And hey – Margaret Cho is in the movie!  Vancouver audiences like Margaret Cho.

The following is from the Falling for Grace press package:

CANADIAN PREMIERE – Falling for Grace

THE CINEMARK TINSELTOWN
88 WEST PENDER, VANCOUVER, BC
604-806-0799

“THIS YEAR’S MOST CHARMING, FEEL-GOOD MOVIE” Elisa Parker, KVMR-FM

“THE NEXT MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING!” Scott Hoffman, MoviePictureFilm.com

“A CINEMATIC TAPESTRY OF ROMANCE AND LAUGHTER” Tim Plant, Metro Weekly, Washington, D.C.

featuring
Gale
Harold, Fay Ann Lee, Christine Baranski, Roger Rees, Stephanie March,
Ken Leung, Clem Cheung, Elizabeth Sung, Ato Essandoh, Lewis Black and
Margaret Cho

ASIAN AMERICAN FILM DIRECTOR DEFIES HOLLYWOOD RULES AND INSPIRES ANYONE WHO DARES TO DREAM

FAY ANN LEE – DEFYING ALL ODDS

Fay
Ann Lee has managed to not only write/direct/produce and star in a film
that's getting theatrical distribution across the U.S. but also
internationally. Lee's film, Falling For Grace, will have its Canadian
and International premiere at Cinemark's Tinseltown on Friday, November
16th. This would not be an extraordinary story if Falling For Grace has
Paramount or Focus Features behind it, but it becomes a remarkable
story when the distributor in this case is Fay Ann Lee herself.

According
to a NY Times article written in 2005, getting distribution for a film
for a first time filmmaker is about a 0.3% chance. So, getting into
Harvard, deemed one of the most competitive universities in the world
to enter, is far easier (10.8% acceptance rate for 2007). So what
exactly does it take for an Asian American woman to write, direct,
produce, act and now distribute a film not just in her own city, but
across the U.S. and internationally…on her own? It takes every ounce of
drive, tenacity, vision, talent and most of all, a heck of a lot of
courage.

MISS SAIGON ACTRESS WRITES/DIRECTS/PRODUCES AND STARS IN TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL'S SOLD OUT HIT

Lee
started her career as a Broadway actress in Miss Saigon which led to
principal roles in regional theaters all across the U.S. As she
ventured into the world of television and film, she quickly realized
how few good roles there were for Asian Americans. Instead of playing
victim and whining about how unfair things were for Asian actors, Lee
decided to do something about it . Her goal was to write a classic
romantic comedy that happens to feature an Asian female protagonist.

With
a plot that's inspired by Lee's random encounters with John F. Kennedy,
Jr. in the mid 1990's, Falling For Grace premiered at the 2006 Tribeca
Film Festival and was a sold out hit. The word of mouth was so good
that the festival actually added an extra screening. But a dose of
reality hit when studios did not pick it up. Word on the street –
studios did not know how to market a mainstream film without mainstream
stars – and having an Asian American protagonist certainly did not
help.

A UNIVERSAL STORY THAT'S GAINING INTEREST FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

So
Lee's journey took a new turn – as Distributor. Instead of giving up
hope, Lee decided to test the film in two different cities, San
Francisco and Washington, D.C. The film tested so well with a
mainstream audience that theaters in nearby smaller cities started to
open up Falling For Grace (Sausalito, Grass Valley, Bryn Mawr,
Pennsylvania). And now other markets in the U.S. are requesting the
film – Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Maine, Texas etc. What's even more
unusual, is that other countries are hearing about this film from fans
who have seen the film and now want to open the film theatrically –
Austria, Ireland England are just a few that will most likely be
opening the film in 2008. The Falling For Grace website now receives
requests from as far as Australia, China, India, Japan, Hungary,
Germany, Italy and even Finland. Audiences all over the world are
starting to get the buzz on this little film that truly could.

UNIVERSITIES, INCLUDING UBC, ARE TAKING NOTE:
LEE AS ROLE MODEL FOR ANYONE WHO DARES TO DREAM

Lee's
achievement has been noted by some of the top colleges in the world.
Invitations have been extended by Yale, Johns Hopkins, Wharton, Temple,
Boston University, Columbia, Stanford and Berkeley for Lee to share her
remarkable story with future artists and leaders of America. Lee was
even invited to Tsinghua University in Beijing (the top university in
China) to screen the movie and speak to students. That the character in
the film, Grace Tang, achieves her goals is a comfort viewers return to
again and again. That Fay Ann Lee does could be the revelation that
forever changes the way students envision their own future. Fay Ann Lee
was a guest in Vancouver's own University of British Columbia, Simon
Fraser University and at the Emily Carr Institute.

AN ORDINARY PERSON WITH EXTRAORDINARY GOALS:
HEAR LEE'S STORY ON HOW IT'S ALL POSSIBLE

Fay
Ann Lee is a wonderful speaker with a dynamic personality. Perhaps the
President of the Yale Film Society sums it up the best:

“To
label Ms. Lee as an independent filmmaker is misleading. She does not
fit the mold of the starving artist, instead thriving as an ambitious,
Wharton-educated entrepreneur whose unorthodox approach to independent
filmmaking – one that has yielded a product with all the gloss of a big
studio flick – affords a rare angle on the world of filmmaking and what
it means to pursue your goals on your own terms.

On the one
hand, Ms. Lee and her film exude a comforting sense of optimism and
good humor; on the other hand, they speak to the importance of grit,
pragmatism, and hard-nosed determination. The balance of these values
is, essentially, what recommends Ms. Lee as a valuable guest.”

Like
so many people around the U.S. that have heard her speak, your guests
will not only find her charming, funny and intelligent, but most
importantly, she will inspire them to believe in themselves and go for
their dreams!

FAY ANN LEE WILL BE IN VANCOUVER
FROM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15th TO SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH

TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW OR INQUIRY, PLEASE CONTACT:
Sarah Elmaleh
Promotions Director
Falling For Grace
e-mail: fallingforgracepublicity@gmail.com
Phone: 609-439-6430

Official Website: http://fallingforgrace.com
Electronic Press Kit: http://web.mac.com/fallingforgrace

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